What is the truth about the attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister of Iraq?

   In the early morning of November 7, local time, a mysterious drone attacked the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadimi in the "Green Zone" of Baghdad, but the Prime Minister survived.

  The "Green Zone" was originally Saddam Hussein's palace area. After 2003, it became an area where Iraqi government offices, residences of senior officials and foreign embassies gathered. This place is heavily guarded, but due to the many important targets and the gathering of journalists and media from all over the world, it has become a hot spot for restless forces to "make troubles".

  In the middle of the night on November 6, Kadimi made an emergency inspection of the security at the south gate of the "Green Zone". When returning to the mansion in the early morning of the 7th, three drones flew from the northeast, two of which were hit by air defense fire. One hit the mansion and destroyed part of the house facilities, as well as an SUV parked in the garage. Six bodyguards of the prime minister were also injured in the attack.

  Major General Mann, a senior official of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, said that it is believed that the drone took off from near the famous Republic Bridge over the Tigris River, and the authorities are investigating the truth of the incident.

The "narrative truth" of the parties

  At the beginning of the incident, Kadimi only tweeted "Thank Allah, I am fine" and called on everyone to "keep calm and restraint for Iraq." It said that "it is not yet possible to confirm who initiated the assassination."

  On November 9th, Kadimi, who attended the cabinet meeting for the first time after the incident, said that the perpetrator had been "exactly locked", called "people we know very well", and said that he would "hunt them down with all his strength", but he still did not name them specifically. .

  In just 48 hours, the United States, Saudi Arabia and other parties condemned the assassination in a high-profile manner, and emphasized that the move was "intended to undermine the democratic process in Iraq and physically destroy the Prime Minister himself", and pointed the finger at Iran, which has strong political influence in Iraq, saying "The international community and the Arab world should actively help the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Iraqi army eliminate Iranian influence." Obviously, as Iran's mortal enemy, their "narrative truth" is that Iran directly or indirectly planned and carried out this attempted assassination with the purpose of killing the prime minister himself.

  Iran gave a completely different "narrative truth":

  Soon after the incident, Ali Shamhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, and Sayyid Khatibzad, spokesperson of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quickly condemned this. In this assassination operation, he tried to blame him on an unnamed "foreign mastermind behind the scenes." On November 8, the "Tehran Times" editorial continued the tone of this "narrative of the truth", stating that it "does not tolerate foreigners undermining the stability of Iraq" (obviously Iran itself is not counted as a "foreigner" in Iraq).

  At the same time, relevant Iranian departments acted quickly: Foreign Minister Amir Abdulasiyan spoke with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during the day on November 7 to discuss the issue of "investigating the truth and arresting the murderer"; Ismail Ghani, the commander of the "Quds Brigade" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, also made an emergency visit to Baghdad on the same day. His mission is to reassure relevant parties of the Iraqi government, to restrain the pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, and to continue to emphasize "Iran It has nothing to do with the assassination."

  Obviously, the "narrative truth" that Iran hopes to be accepted by the outside world is instigated and planned by unnamed "foreign forces" other than the pro-Iranian forces in Iran and Iraq (about the United States, Saudi Arabia and other countries that hate Iran); It has repeatedly called for "cautious investigations" and "not to jump to conclusions", and "self-disclosure", lest the intention of being involved in the disaster is clear.

  The two pro-Iranian political forces in Iraq, the "Justice League" and the "Allah Brigade", reacted strangely immediately: When almost all other important political factions and leading figures in Iraq condemned the assassination, the "Justice League" The spokesperson of the "Allah's Brigade" was issued a statement by the spokesperson of the organization codenamed "Abu Ascari", emphasizing that "we have nothing to do with the incident" on the one hand, but on the other hand it is "unconventional." He published a long list of cynicism against the Prime Minister himself, accusing the Prime Minister of "playing bitter tricks" and even harsh words such as "Where is such an incompetent person worth wasting drones to assassinate" and "May Allah curse you and those who help you" Talk endlessly.

  Perhaps he realized that he would lose if he said too much, or he was warned from some important parties. On November 9th, the political alliance formed by the above-mentioned pro-Iranian organization, the leader of the Fatah Alliance, Ameri, belatedly condemned the assassination. It is "trying to incite a rebellion in Iraq" and blaming the blame on an unspecified "third party"-obviously, this is infinitely close to Iran's version of the "narrative truth".

What's the truth

  Most analysts familiar with the local situation believe that the perpetrator was an Iraqi pro-Iranian organization. Since November 9th, anonymous high-ranking officials of the Iraqi government and military intelligence departments have repeatedly criticized this in the media and the Internet.

On November 7, 2021, the residence of the Prime Minister of Iraq was attacked by drones

  As we all know, the Sunni Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq for a long time. After its collapse in 2003, the Shi’ites, which account for the majority of the population, became the protagonist of the Baghdad government, as the prime minister as usual in a parliamentary government, while the president and speaker who had no real power were composed of Iraqi Kurds and Sunni Arabs. People are acting separately.

In the general election, the "Sadrists" won 73 seats (54 seats before the election) and continued to maintain their position as the largest party in the parliament, but they only accounted for a minority of the total 329 seats; while the seats of the "Justice League" increased from the top The current 48 seats (the second largest party) shrank to only 15 seats, and the rest of the pro-Iranian parties lost even worse.

  But after the war, the Iraqi economy recovered slowly, foreign intervention was everywhere, and the central government was very weak. In 2014, the "Islamic State" extremist forces suddenly emerged, not only sweeping the western part of Iraq, but also approaching Baghdad. Fortunately, all Shiite parties in the territory united and repelled the "Islamic State" attack, and gradually took the initiative in the war after 2017.

  In this thrilling counter-offensive, Iran’s “Quds Brigade” provided Iraq with strong support and guarantee; while the “People’s Mobilization Force” (PMF), a paramilitary organization composed of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq’s Shi’ites, Played the role of a mainstay. After the war, PMF gained the superior status of semi-official armed forces; its political organization "Fatah Alliance" was also very active in Iraqi politics, and "Justice League" and "Allah's Brigade" were all under its organization.

  However, the "honeymoon" between the "Fatah Alliance"/PMF and other factions and Iraqi society quickly passed. Many Iraqis accuse these pro-Iranian organizations of “engaging in an independent kingdom” and fight against the Iraqi army, complaining that PMF militants are rebellious, deficient in military discipline, and arrogant. Within the Shiites, the conflict between the "Sadr Group" headed by the national leader Muqtada Sadr and the "Fatah Alliance", which was originally fighting side by side with the PMF in the battle against the "Islamic State", has intensified. Sadr advocates balanced development and relations between countries, and opposes both the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran's interference in Iraq's internal affairs.

  Since 2018, the Sadr faction and the "Fatah Alliance" have parted ways, while Kadimi, who was the head of the intelligence department at the time, has been caught in a dilemma-the "Fatah Alliance" called him "the spokesperson of American forces" and accused him. He favors the Sadrists and Sunni factions, while factions such as the Sadrists believe that he is "soft" and cannot suppress the domineering behavior of the pro-Iranian forces. In 2019, fierce conflict broke out between the two sides. Hisham Hashmi, Kadimi's important adviser, was assassinated and nearly 600 demonstrators died. Many Iraqi politicians accused the "Fatah Alliance" of being responsible for this, but the latter refused to admit it.

  In January 2020, Brigadier General Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s “Quiz Brigade”, visited Baghdad to try to mediate the conflicts between the Shiite parties, but was assassinated by Trump using a drone. This action further angered the pro-Iranian factions, and Gani, who succeeded Soleimani, was unable to control the rebellious "Justice League" and "Allah's Brigade" and other pro-Iran factions, and the situation in Iraq became more chaotic. Sadr factions and other anti-Fatah coalition forces claim that from 2018 to 2021, PMF “assassinated at least 35 political enemies”.

  However, the extreme practices of the "Fatah Alliance" and PMF seem to be counterproductive. In May 2020, Kadimi was elected as prime minister. The pro-Iranian faction, which calls Kadimi the "murderer of the 2019 incident", is very dissatisfied with it. It has repeatedly used violent attacks and even attacked the "green zone" and other activities to try to force Kadimi to "dismiss get out of class", which once forced the latter to live. Retreat.

  However, the restlessness of the pro-Iranian faction triggered a strong backlash from other factions, which eventually triggered the parliamentary elections on October 10 this year. In the general election, the "Sadrists" won 73 seats (54 seats before the election) and continued to maintain their position as the largest party in the parliament, but they only accounted for a minority of the total 329 seats; while the seats of the "Justice League" increased from the top The current 48 seats (the second largest party) shrank to only 15 seats, and the rest of the pro-Iranian parties lost even worse. Many factions under the "Fatah Alliance" were directly "shaved."

  The aggrieved pro-Iranian political parties subsequently continued to protest, forming the so-called "Shia cooperation framework", and issued more than 1,400 appeals to the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission, demanding recounts and even re-elections. However, the latter only agreed to recount the votes in a few areas, and did not agree to re-elections or full re-counts, which means that the electoral pattern will basically not change.

  The furious "Fatah Alliance" launched the so-called "final battle" on November 5th on the deadline for recounting, organizing supporters to storm the "green zone", resulting in large-scale violent conflicts, resulting in the deaths of two people, more than 120 People were injured. Although most of the injured were military and police security personnel who maintained public order in the "Green Zone", one of the two dead was actually Kuwaidi, one of the important leaders of the "Justice League". Since then until the assassination, the "Fatah Alliance" has been holding high-profile accountability for the "murderer" (referring to the prime minister) and threatening to "revenge" and maintain high pressure outside the "green zone." And the radical remarks made by the spokesperson of the "Allah Brigade" immediately after the assassination may also be a natural continuation of this "stress response."

The "bitterness" effect that Abu Ascari was worried about would really allow the shaky Kadimi cabinet to be unexpectedly consolidated, because "the prime minister who was assassinated but escaped can always gain more prestige and pity".

  Many local problem analysts, such as Randa Slim, director of the Conflict Resolution and Dialogue Project of the "Middle East Institute", and Linard Mansour, the project leader of the Iraq Initiative of the "Chatham Institute", believe that this time The assassination of the “drunkard’s intention is not to drink” is not a real attempt to kill the Prime Minister, but an attempt to send a “deterrent” signal to force the Prime Minister to abandon the formation of a cabinet.

  Other analysts, such as Nidawi, the head of the "Peace Project Iraq Center", believe that the pro-Iranian factions used the seemingly extreme practice of attempted assassination to release political signals of "bargaining" in an attempt to make the election unfavorable. Under the circumstances, to maximize the benefits of cabinet formation and power distribution. The overtone is, "If we don't give us enough share, we have the power to make trouble."

  If it was really done by the "Fatah Alliance"/PMF, did Iran know or even instigate it in advance?

  It’s hard to say, but at least one thing is certain. In an environment where the international community and Iraq strongly condemn the assassination, Iran’s current attitude is "I fear this matter will have me." It has nothing to do with it. Even if there is a suspicion of melon fields and plums, it must be "one push, six, two, five."

What will happen

  After the assassination, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, the Arab League, the European Union, the Holy See, and the world's major powers issued statements condemning the assassination and supporting the Iraqi government in safeguarding sovereignty and national stability. No matter who the perpetrators are, objectively this incident is not good for Iran and the pro-Iranian factions in Iraq.

  Most analysts such as Slim and Mansour believe that if it is indeed done by the organization of the "Fatah Alliance" and it is indeed intended to "deter" or "ask the price," it may be counterproductive: Abu Ascari The feared "bitterness" effect will really make the shaky Kadimi cabinet unexpectedly consolidated, because "the prime minister who was assassinated but survived will always gain more prestige and sympathy."

  However, some other analysts such as Nidawi believe that the political pattern of Iraq in the "post-Saddam era" was originally a pattern of "five horses and a bargaining bid". Election or violent acts are all. A form of "bidding", "Whether you like it or not, this is the political reality in Iraq." Even if the authorities had already “cleared” which organization was responsible for the incident, Kadimi did not dare to denounce its name; and a group of current and former prime ministers, heads of judicial institutions, presidents, and leaders of various militia organizations including PMF participated. The "special meeting" has been hurriedly held in Baghdad since November 8. Taking into account the trajectory of the political situation in Iraq in recent years, this "special meeting" is likely to be turned into an "aftermath meeting." At that time, it will be launched together with the "new cabinet acceptable to all parties," and it is likely to be a "narrative truth" version of the prime minister's attempted assassination that is acceptable to all parties. The true truth may not be restored "faithful to the original" for a long time.



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